Monday, July 9, 2007

Defend Yourself

Saturday, the Iraqi Government told its' citizens to defend themselves against terrorists. There has been plenty said in the media that this is an admission by the Iraqis that the government can't defend them from attacks. I have a different take on it (don't I always).

The 2nd amendment of the US Constitution states, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed". Seems like the founding fathers of the United States believed that the citizenry of the new country might have to defend themselves "or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger" they even made allowances in the 5th amendment for times of public danger. I can't think of a place with more public danger than Iraq.

So, instead of seeing this as a failure of the government ... I see it as a move by the government to emulate the United States in its' infancy. We seem to forget that Iraq is now a new nation and will be experiencing growing pains. They need to figure out what will work for them. While the United States had over 50 years to establish itself before the War of 1812, the Iraqi government has been under siege since it's inception.

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33 comments:

snowelf said...

Oh I totally agree! I feel like we are rushing them into WAY too much change at once and if we want to behave like a "mini-united states" immediately, we're going to be sadly disappointed. I think we truly have to let them find their feet first! They have been living this way of life for so long, I can't imagine how weird it must be to them to have all of this new social behavior encouraged and thrust upon them.

--snow

lime said...

yes, i agree that my first thougth was about our own right to bear arms and that it's good to be able to defend yoruself. at the same time i have great reservations for that region because culturally they are bathed in millenia of hatred and blood feuds. i will wait to see if this leads to a greater peace as people merely defend themselves from those stirring up violence or if it leads to a further descent into mayhem as the average iraqi can take vengeance on abduhl down the street who comes from a family that hassan's has been feuding with for hundreds of years....

it's a good principle, i will wait to see the results before deciding if it is a good idea in iraq or not.

The Lowest Rated Blog said...

We have a Civil War in our hands in IRAQ [don't tell that to the Alice in Wonderland Team], we have the Shia and the Sunni killing each other. They dislike each other. But they have a common enemy [Americans]. I need to hear from Generals Petreaus and Odierno on this one !!! Let me be clear on this, I see no problems with EVERY adult and EVERY teenager in IRAQ walking around with a weapon AFTER our GIs are gone. Okay, time for me to hit the road on my daily long distance run. Cheers !!!
tlrb

MONA said...

I find their Psyche a distorted whole! It is hell in Iraq & of their own making too!

a war raved country is set behind by at least 100 years. it takes time to heal. that is if they will ALLOW themselves to heal!

Paul Champagne said...

Snow ... we are rushing them because Americans are an impatient society, we want everything now. This really works against us (ie: growing credit card debt). I am not however saying that things aren't progressing as quickly in Iraq as I would like.

lime ... I feel when the citizenry feels less helpless, they will also feel more free and this will encourage them in activities that promote freedom. But alas, we shall have to wait and see ... it does seem a bit of a dangerous experiment.

tlrb ... we shall have to wait and see. When I lived in Anchorage, AK, the gun control laws were simple ... if you were carrying a firearm, it could not be concealed. The crime rate was very low back then, as every other person you saw had a weapon.

mona ... you are right, they need time to heal and to figure things out. They need themselves to be patient and the US to be patient to have enough time. It is not only of their own making. Iran and Syria have been destabilizing factors along with Al-Qaeda.

Mike M said...

I agree!!!

Jenny! said...

Sink or swim!

Paul Champagne said...

mike ... that's because you're a smart guy.

jenny ... problem is we can't afford to let them sink. Right now we have thrown them a life preserver of 150,000 troops.

Mama en Fuego said...

Amen, if the citizens of Iraq are waiting around for a savior they could be waiting a while. The time comes for every struggling nation to "shit or get off the pot."

Our own Declaration of Independance states "...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government," The Iraqi people must take responsibility for the actions of their government and in so doing stand up against the destructive powers that keep the citizens of their country hostage to terror and oppression.

Paul Champagne said...

mama ... it gives me chills when you quote the Declaration of Independence ... bravo.

Sarah said...

it seems naive to think that a region that was once the cradle of civilization will ever look like a mini United states. There is far to much history to think that a complex group of people are going to simply emulate the United States. I think it would say so much more if they were making decisions that helped them grow instead of decisions that they think might help keep a few more people alive in the daily turmoil that is Iraq.

Paul Champagne said...

sarah ... the cradle of civilization it may be, but if they want a truely free society, I can't think of a better one to emulate than the USA.

Jenny! said...

We can't let them sink, and I am not in a hurry to pull out the troops or anything like that, but they will need to be on their own eventually.

Superstar said...

I am conflicted. I think we should "bare all the arms" we want...Just make the bullets harder to come by....

Paul Champagne said...

jenny ... the worst part of that sentance is eventually . I think we will have at least a 30,000 man presence there for a long time ... look at South Korea. We have been there since the 50's. ... ouch ...

superstar ... the bad guys have no problem getting ammo from Iran, Iraq and Al-Qaeda. Why should the good guys be limited?

Terri@SteelMagnolia said...

Once again..
I totally agree with you!!!!!

I know this is off topic a little bit... the crime here in L.V. is awful ... home invasions are happening everywhere ... convenience stores are getting robbed all the time ...

but finally... finally...
last night...

a convenience store worker
shot and killed the low life dirt bag that was trying to rob him..

and all I could think was RIGHT ON!!!!!! GOOD FOR YOU ... THANK GOD!! THAT'S WHAT HE GETS AND DESERVES.

That kind of thing needs to happen more often around here!! I think the Iraqi's should do the same.

Paul Champagne said...

terri ... remind me to never piss you off ... you seem to have a bit of a mean streak going.

Of course your not mean ... this is simply righteous indignation. I think everyone secretly applauds a little vigilantism ... I know I do.

Chris H said...

As I am not an American ... I do not feel qualified to comment on your blog issues, but I do thank you for making my day by saying I look only 30 !!! Thank you!

Keshi said...

I dunno if ppl in Iraq would ever u'stand what they r doing to themselves. If and when they realise that, then only they will get real peace.

Keshi.

HappyToBeHere said...

Paul,

Thank you for sharing. I support Iraqi citizens bearing arms. The chaos going on in Iraq reminds me of the chaos that occurs when we have lootings here in the U.S. I simply couldn't imagine not having the right to bear arms and protect myself in either case.

Heidi

David said...

A good point. People forget that the US has a bloody history and think we sprang forth into a perfected ACLU run state. A LOT of blood was spilt to make the USA what she is today. The right to bear arms is an important part of what the US is. Hopefully the Iraqi people will actually start to defend themselves. There doesn't seem to be a shortage of weapons, they aught to be able to acquire something.

أميرة البلطجية said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
أميرة البلطجية said...

Hallo Paul,
Thank you for passing by my German blog. I thought I should pay you a visit, too :). I haven't read the post I am commenting on though, because what really drew my attention was the poll you have the side bar about going to Muslim doctors. I don't know what your views on Muslims are.. but, the results of the poll, though unsurprising, were disappointing to me (I am a Muslim myself). I understand how the image of Muslims is distorted around the world specially after Sep 11. Yeah, most terrorist acts talked about on the media are carried out by so-called Muslims, still, el Qaida is not representitive of Islam's teachings as ordained by God.. they are not representitve of Muslims in general. A real Muslim doctor will simply do his job at his best, will be honset, and will take real good care of his patients. This is what he learnt from the Quran and the teachings of Muhammad, which I invite you to check, just for general knowlage. El Qaida are terrorits as far as Islam is concerned. And they really go against every teaching of Islam. The concept of Jehad is so distorted in the West.. people know nothing about it, yet there is a whole propaganda created around it.. fueled by baised media..but Islam- even at war times- has the finest ethics that not those who attack Islam, nor those who terrorize in its name know about. Non-muslims lack the knowladge about Islam..Muslim terrorists lack the understanding what they know..If you really wish to be unbaised and fair, I invite you to discover Islam.. read about it from authentic sources and ask people of knowladge..then form your opnion on Muslims.. I have to say I was really offened by the poll..still, I understand how the world came to think that of us. I am a Muslim myself.. a practising Muslim... you can visit any of my blogs.. or those of Muslim friends.. you will see no signs of terrorism..and we are no exception.. we are the rule..sorry for such a long comment and thank you for your patience

buffalodickdy said...

Undoing centuries of non-democracy has to be a choice. I have never been to Iraq, so I don't know how their "melting pot" is working. From what I read- not so hot...
Reminds me of an old joke; How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? One, but the light bulb has to want to change...

The Ogre said...

Thanks for stopping by Paul. Having to go back through alot of your blog, because it seems we have a few things in common. Again, thanks for stopping over. :)

Mama en Fuego said...

To our Muslim friend - please do not be decieved into believing that all American's view Muslims as terrorists, this would be as great an injustice as for us to assume that all Muslims desire to destory us.

Our nation is still grieving and with grief comes anger and the desire to place blame upon someone or some group in order to focus that anger and pain. Unfortunately for the muslim commmunity, it is your group that has born the brunt of our anger. And despite your noble ideals I have no doubt, as I see it everyday, that your brothers and sisters in faith would do the same were the roles reversed. I am not saying this is justified, it is simply human nature.

The problem many Americans have is that from our vantage point, we do not see the Muslim community as a whole actively combatting this minority segment of your religion, if you can even call it that. Issuing a press release denouncing their actions is one thing, actively participating in the movement to re-educate the young men and women who have been drawn into radical Islam is something entirely different.

If I am wrong then please elighten me.

Paul Champagne said...

chris ... you don't have to be an American to comment on this blog ... you just have to have an opinion.

keshi ... the folks in Iraq are not stupid. They understand what all the in-fighting is doing to them. There just happen to be a 10-15% extremist segment that wants to avenge past injustices (some of which date back 1000 years or more). These extremists are already armed ... I just propose arming the normal people.

happy ... the feeling of helplessness is what we are trying to eliminate.

david ... the bloodieness gets even worse when you look past the 13 original colonies and get into our westward expansion. Having moved to El Paso, I have started to take an interest in the History of the area and was astonished at how much there was and how incredibly bloody it was.

My Muslim sister ... I have read the Quran and found it to be almost as bloody as the Bible. Both Holy Books reflected the eras in which they were written. It just seems to me that while the majority of Judaism and Christianity has progressed and evolved into gentler religions, Islam is pretty much the same as it was 1000 years ago. Now there are sects that have progressed, but if not a majority, a very large minority of Islam is still what we would call radical ... calling for jihad and issuing fatwahs calling for the deaths of individuals and the like. It is unfortunate that peaceful, law abiding Muslims tend to get painted by the same brush ... but people are scared, and they do not act rationally when they are frightened. The imams in the United States are cooperating with the police and federal government to an extent that didn't seem possible a few years ago in an attempt to change these views ... those in other countries have not been so forthcoming. It was probably a stupid and unthinking poll and I'm sorry to have offended you. I will be replacing it today.

buffalo ... the people love the idea of freedom, and they are more capitalistic than we are (this is after all where the concept of barter started). It is the people that were used to being in power that want to return to that power that are causing the problems ... along with those that are using the chaos for their own nefarious plans (Iran & Al-Qaeda)

Paul Champagne said...

ogre ... thanks for stopping by, I found your blog yesterday and ended up really enjoying it.

mama ... thank you for your elegant explanation.

أميرة البلطجية said...

Dear Mama en feugo, dear Paul,

Thank you both for your tolerance :) I wish that discussing such sensitive issues between people of different background would always be like so :)
Paul, you said something important, you read the Quran. That's very good, but it seems to me that you need to do some research on the ayahs mentioning Jehad, cz when they are properly understood, such Ayah will never make Quran seem bloody at all. But anyway, I am thankful for removing the poll, and glad I am getting a new friend. I think you know that now I blog in English under the name of The New Kid in Town (and thank you for discovering me two months ago :D). I will be glad to see you there :)

Superstar said...

Damn good point. I haven't thought from that side of the fence.

So tell me this...We have been at "war" w/ drugs...Why not just legalize them and tax the CRAP out of them, eliminating "illegal" and focus more on real issues over sea's??? Just an idea. Booze doesn't seem to slow anyone down or cigarettes...???

RX drugs are making a killing i.. Oxicodone and Rush Limbaugh...
Why should the pharmasutical co make all the $$$??? Same for the arms dealers???

Paul Champagne said...

I didn't discover you ... I just chanced by your scattered peas blog a couple of months ago :)

superstar ... the libertarian in me says legalize all drugs , but then the common sense part of me that worries about our children slaps the hell out of me and I realize that it may not be a very good idea at all.

Terry said...

Very well stated, Paul.

I believe we did the right thing to give the people of Iraq a chance at freedom. All of mankind deserves to live in a free society. Saddam was evil and I am glad he's gone. I hope these folks in Iraq can soon embrace their new found democracy and protect it for themselves. I am sure some of them do. It will take time to take down all the power hungry crazies that are still there.

Paul Champagne said...

terry ... I have a couple of middle-eastern co-workers and they embrace democracy (and especially capitalism). All the people of Iraq have to see is it working ... they will jump in with both feet.